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Council crackdown on housing fraud is underway

 

If you are subletting your council house you could lose your home if you are caught by Arun District Council’s new Housing Fraud Investigator.

The National Fraud Authority estimates the cost to the public purse as a result of tenancy fraud is £1.8 billion per annum.

The Housing Fraud Investigator, who was appointed in January, detects fraud by checking applications to join the housing register to see if they are genuine, conducting unannounced visits to tenants suspected of subletting property and carrying out court-approved surveillance.

Councillor Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Housing at Arun District Council, said: “I would urge those who have sublet their council home to consider handing back their keys to the local authority immediately.

“By taking this action the local authority is able to make homes available to people on the waiting list that really need them.

“The council encourages all genuine applications for housing and assesses each claim on its merits.”

As a result of this new role, the local authority anticipates bringing up to ten properties in the Arun district back into lawful use, by the end of 2016.

Your help in reporting housing fraud is important because you can see what is going on in your neighbourhood. Here are some signs to look for:

  • You might know that somebody has a home that the Council doesn’t know about or has given false information in their housing application.
  • You might suspect someone of housing fraud having seen them collect rent from your neighbours.
  • You might be suspicious because the tenants of a property keep changing.

If you have suspicions of tenancy fraud and live in the Arun district then contact the Housing Fraud Investigator by telephone on 01903 737878 or by email at housingfraud@arun.gov.uk.

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